French director Francois Ozon has come under fire from politicians in his native country over his controversial claim that many women fantasise about becoming sex workers.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the moviemaker discussed his latest offering Jeune & Jolie (Young & Beautiful), in which a young girl turns to prostitution, and reportedly stated, "I think women can really be connected with this girl because it's a fantasy of many women to do prostitution (sic)."
His remarks have infuriated French politicians and women's rights groups alike, and attracted fierce criticism from Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, France's Minister for Women's Rights and spokesperson for the government of French President Francois Hollande.
In an interview with French news network, Bm Tv, she says, "The movie presents us with his view of the world. Francois Ozon's look at women seems reductive or too generalised.
"It's terrifying to trivialise, to give the impression that there is a casualness in prostitution. This is not true. Casualness and prostitution are contradictory. This shows that it is also important that we hear the voices of women directors because women's views of women are not at all the same as those of men."
The director has since insisted his comments were taken out of context, writing in a post on his Twitter.com page , "(My words were) clumsy and misunderstood. Obviously I wasn't talking about women in general, just the characters in my film."